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The Goliath tracked mine (German: Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath, "Goliath Light Charge Carrier") was a series of two unmanned ground vehicles used by the German Army as disposable demolition vehicles during World War II. These were the electrically powered Sd.Kfz. 302 and the petrol-engine powered Sd.Kfz. 303a and 303b. They were known as beetle tanks by the Allies.
They carried 60 or 100 kg (130 or 220 lb) of high explosives, depending on the model, and were intended to be used for multiple purposes, such as destroying tanks, disrupting dense infantry formations, and the demolition of buildings or bridges. Goliaths were single-use vehicles that were destroyed by the detonation of their warhead.
Goliaths were used on all fronts where the Wehrmacht fought, beginning in early 1942. They were used principally by specialized Panzer and combat engineer units. Goliaths were used at Anzio in Italy in April 1944, and against the Polish resistance during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. A few Goliaths were also seen on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, though most were rendered inoperative due to artillery blasts severing their command cables. Allied troops also encountered a small number of Goliaths in the Maritime Alps following the landings in southern France in August 1944, with at least one being used successfully against a vehicle of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.
Although a total of 7,564 Goliaths were produced, the single-use weapon was not considered a success due to high unit cost, low speed (just above 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 mph)), poor ground clearance (just 11.4 cm (4.5 in)), the vulnerable control cable, and thin armour which could not protect the vehicle from small-arms fire. The Goliath was also too big and heavy to be easily man-portable. Mostly, they failed to reach their target although the effect was considerable when they did.
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